Angharad Jones has been announced as the new Artistic Director of East Midlands theatre company New Perspectives. Angharad comes to the company after 15 years of working alongside Laura Ford as joint Artistic Director of Fifth Word, a company they founded together, directing productions such as LAVAby Critics' Circle Theatre Award winner/Olivier-nominated playwright James Fritz (Nottingham Playhouse 2018/ UK spring tour postponed to 2022). She has previously worked with New Perspectives as Associate Director of the Stage Award-winning The Fishermen alongside current Artistic Director Jack McNamara. Jack McNamara steps down as Artistic Director after nine years in the role to become Artistic Director of Newcastle's Theatre Live.
Amanda Farr, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said, "We are absolutely delighted to welcome Angharad Jones as the new Artistic Director of New Perspectives after a rigorous and very competitive interview process. She has a clear understanding of the ethos and culture of the Company and she will build on the legacy left by Jack McNamara to bring exciting new work and adaptations to regional, national and international audiences. She has great vision for the company as we approach our 50th anniversary and a strong commitment to talent development, diversity and reaching people with limited access to live performance. We are looking forward with great anticipation to the next chapter of the theatre company's history"
Fifth Word are an East Midlands company and are previous associate artists at Nottingham Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse and recipients of the Olwen Wymark Award. Founded by Angharad Jones and Laura Ford in 2008, they tour ambitious new plays, shining a light on unheard stories and nurturing regional voices. Productions that Angharad Jones has worked on for Fifth Word include: LAVAby James Fritz, All the Little Lights by Jane Upton (Winner of the George Devine Award; Nominated for Best New Play Writers' Guild Awards & Best New Play Off West End Awards), Amateur Girl by Amanda Whittington and Wreck by Toby Campion. Playwrights commissioned by Fifth Word include Mufaro Makubika, Sonali Bhattacharyya, Sophie Ellerby, Phoebe Éclair Powell, Satinder Chohan and Maureen Lennon.
With Fifth Word Angharad has developed unique and innovative projects in partnership with communities and organisations, including launching the Lights Up podcast that celebrates women in theatre and the This is Normanton living history project, all of which aim to get more people engaging with arts, culture and heritage on their own terms.
Angharad Jones said, "I am thrilled to be appointed as the next Artistic Director of New Perspectives, and immensely proud to be the first woman to hold the position in almost three decades. I have spent the last 15 years with Fifth Word getting to knowand making work for audiences here in the East Midlands and have long admired New Perspectives as fiercely independent company that holds a unique and vital place in the theatre ecology of the region. I'm excited to take this opportunity to present new work, plays and adaptations that are rooted in localism but with regional, national and international appeal. I feel privileged to be joining this dynamic team at a complex time, and when serving our audiences, supporting freelancers and developing talent has never been so urgent."
Of Fifth Word she continued:
"Co-founding a company is a truly extraordinary experience and I couldn't even have imagined what a ride it would be. I could not be more proud of what Fifth Word has become. We have been growing our Fifth Word family and Laura continues to lead the company with an expanding pool of associate and freelance artists and we look forward to collaborating in the future in new and wonderful ways."
Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director for Arts Council England, said: "We're delighted to welcome Angharad Jones to New Perspectives - she brings with her a wealth of producing and touring experience and a passion for bringing unheard stories to life, and we look forward to seeing more great things from her and the team in Nottingham.
"We'd also like to thank outgoing Director Jack McNamara for his dedication and work- the company has grown, adapted and seen great success with him at the helm - and we wish him the very best for the future."
With over 48 years' experience of touring high-quality productions to venues of all sizes across the UK, from mid-scale theatres to village halls, New Perspectives has a strong rural core, creating productions to fit spaces of any size. We bring new work that is unexpected and thought-provoking to a wide range of audiences. Recent productions have includ WhatsApp drama Stay Safe, a series of Christmas cards, an internationally successful postcard drama Love From Cleethorpes which has reached over 2,400 letterboxes in 26 countries and sequel Dare To Look Down, a radio adaptation of the Stage Award winning The Fishermen by Gbolohan Obisesan. David Rudkin's PlacePrints series ,ranked the UK's 25th most popular fiction podcast (2020) and an audiobook marking the 25th anniversary of Alan Moore's epic Northampton novel Voice of The Fire is currently available on audible and a wide range of audio platforms.